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  • Visit Italy: Travel like an Italian Celebrity
    Our Paesani

    by Francesca Di Meglio

    AUGUST 22, 2004 -- Summer is the time for travel. Perhaps you are starting to plan a vacation to bell' Italia. Every so often, from now through August, I will offer a quick snapshot of must-see sites in the Motherland. Even if you can't make it to the Continent, you can always dream in Italian.

    Practically all of Italy goes on vacation in August and the country's most glamorous stars are no different. Celebrities have money and need to relax and pamper themselves, so it's always wise to take your travel cues from them. Here are some suggestions for itineraries from the rich and famous:

    • Forte dei Marmi
      This beach town in Versilia is a favorite getaway for Italian actress Martina Colombari and her new husband, soccer player Alessandro Costacurta. You can take a romantic walk along the five kilometers of soft golden sand at the beach or stroll down the palm-tree lined promenade. With numerous bike paths, Forte dei Marmi is a cyclist's paradise. If the sunsets are as spectacular as they are in the postcards, you'll start singing O Sole Mio.

    • Sardinia
      Rich in history and known for its uniqueness, this large island has much to offer. It's no wonder that celebrities Fabio Macellari, Alessandra Balletto, Melissa Satta and Francesco Coco have been spotted there. Last week British Prime Minister Tony Blair joined Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi at the V.I.P.-favorite Porto Rotundo. From the Costa Smeralda to Cagliari, visitors can check out the beaches, take in a soccer game or visit the small outlying islands. There is even a national park and marine reserve. But you'll never look cooler than Coco, who you might see zipping around on a motor scooter with his shirt off.

    • Levante
      This stretch of coast east of Genoa is also called the Riviera di Levante. Celebrities like Rosario Fiorello, Susanna Messaggio and Alberto Tomba are rumored to have vacationed here. Visitors can take in the sun at the beach by day and explore the former fishing villages by night. Levante's vicinity to other hot spots like Cinque Terre makes it even more appealing.

    • Lake Como
      By now, everyone knows that George Clooney has a villa in Lake Como, a northern Italian paradise. Tranquility seems quite accessible, thanks to Lake Como's lush foliage and alpine peaks. There are plenty of opportunities for hiking. But I hear that the best site nowadays is the basketball court at Clooney's villa, where friends like Brad Pitt have been known to play.

    • Ischia
      I'd be remiss if I neglected to mention that Ischia, the island from which my family originates, has become a celebrity enclave during the summer months. It's the new Capri for Europeans. This year everyone from Paolo Cannavaro to Gwyneth Paltrow have stopped by. Stars have to look good, and they come to Ischia for its healing thermal springs. Get a mud bath by day and take a midnight stroll on Maronti, the island's largest beach. To catch a glimpse of the celebrities, your best bet is the nightclub Valentino in Ischia Porto. It's the place to see and be seen.

    Visit ItaliansRus Travel for more information on planning an Italian vacation.

    Other Visit Italy articles
    · Florence's David Gets a New Look
    · A Historic Venetian Theater Heats Things Up
    · A Southern Italian Treasure in Caserta


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